As one of bebop’s originators once said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.”
That piece of advice from Charlie Parker might apply to anyone looking to soak up some historical vibes by renting the legend’s former New York City apartment. Bird’s place is now on the market—for $5,700 a month.
The apartment, located in an East Village brownstone overlooking Tompkins Square Park, is listed by Stile Real Estate as a two-bedroom floor-through. Built in 1849, the building was Parker’s home from 1950 to 1954. He lived there with his family near the end of his career. Parker died in 1955 in the Stanhope Hotel.
Years after its famous tenant left, jazz concert producer, booking agent, and photographer Judith Rhodes bought the building. Her clients were allowed to rehearse in the parlor. Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, and Charlie Haden were among the greats who many played there. In 1992, Avenue B between 7th and 10th Streets was renamed Charlie Parker Place. It made the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. New York City designated it as a landmark in 1999.
The building, which has five apartments in total, has changed hands at least once since, hitting the market with a price tag of $9.25 million in 2015. Parker’s apartment includes “original hardwood floors, double-paned windows, a white tiled bathroom with pre-war charm,” according to the listing.
Any new tenants should know that Bird’s musical legacy lives on nearby. Every August the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival takes place in Tompkins Square Park, just across the street. But if you’re thinking of putting a deposit down in time to hear the festival performers from your bedroom, you’ll have to wait until next year. Occupancy isn’t until September.